How we shoot it…
Expert Tips From Our Team on Creating Photography On White Backgrounds!
Shooting product photography on white backgrounds has been a staple requirement for the product photographer for years. Now, possibly more than ever the skills to create good photography on white backgrounds have become more important, not only for e-commerce listings on own websites but also existing as a basic need for Amazon listings. Product photography on white backgrounds for Amazon is a pre-requisite for getting your product up there and in front of your potential customers. At Pocket, we’ve had to build a new-found respect for this photographic type.
Creativity and visual interest is at the heart of what we offer here, which means that shooting product photography on white backgrounds alone hasn’t had a huge amount of mileage with us. We like to think of the complete frame – which means that a product should be supported by props, ingredients, and a background all working together to complete a picture. But, if you consider the reverse, the opposite gives you an accurate, uncomplicated and simple view of the only thing that’s immediately important. From a consumer perspective, product photography on white backgrounds – showing the product alone – builds familiarity with the packaging and branding and nothing else. A clear simple message. However, capturing a product shot like this is far from simple. Don’t get me wrong – shooting product photography on white backgrounds can be simple – basic lighting and white background, snap, and you have it. But there’s a difference in what we have to provide as a professional service here.
The three main aspects here are: product lighting, dealing with reflections, and getting white – white! Getting a product to look 3D – very important with product packaging, means thinking as much about shadows as light areas. Different package shapes and materials will encourage different responses from different lighting patterns – so when shooting product photography on white backgrounds we’ll often spend time taking plenty of test shots so we can judge what looks best. Sometimes we will shoot in a very even light and place shadows in afterwards during processing for a polished look.
“With product photography on white backgrounds, there’s literally nowhere to hide – the lighting needs to be right, the packaging must be perfect – whether naturally or repaired in the edit – the negativity of the white space encourages you to almost over-examine the image.” says Pocket Creatives Photographer Kelly Hill
The sworn enemy of the product photographer is reflections – whether they be from the shooting environment reflecting back from glass bottles, dullness against silver or gold packaging design, and the effects of the camera itself reflecting back. Sometimes a light tent is necessary to protect the product from reflecting the surroundings – although shooting in a light tent can be really limiting in terms of creative lighting and restricting ease of movement. Lastly, getting the background perfectly white often means cutting a product out once it’s been processed and then laying on perfect white afterwards. This saves being forced to over-light the whole environment – particularly when working with smaller products and those which would benefit from being lit seperately from the white they need to sit on. When providing product photography on white backgrounds what we’ll often do is shoot for the best lighting of the product, and under lighting the background so that it becomes an even mid grey. We then process the image so that we can create the best looking product possible, before cutting it out, adding shadowing if needed – both on the product and behind it – before filling the background with a peak white fill.
Shooting product photography on white backgrounds… Something so simple, yet never quite as simple as in theory it could be!
Steven Mayatt, Creative Director
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“Fun, innovative and unflappable. Pocket creatives are great to work with – whether it’s finding the perfect lighting for trifle to capturing GoPro footage on a whisk, they always approach every situation with a steady yet game-changing attitude. I see the whole team as trusted creative partners to make great content together.”
Kitty Aldis, River Group
“I have been working with Steven and the brilliant Pocket Creatives crew for 3 years – in fact since they started out. They have captured in excess of 100 recipes, produced 7 videos including 2 crowdfunding campaigns, their work, professionalism, and commitment to client satisfaction second to none. What’s more is how they have developed, evolved and grown in creativity, experience, and inspiration.
On a personal front the individuals in the team have to most wonderful personalities – an absolute joy to work with!”
Tanya Robertson-Lambert, Tanya’s Just Real
“I worked with Steven and his Pocket Creatives team to create a recipe video, and I couldn’t recommend their services enough! From the ideation stage, through to filming and editing the finished product, at every stage, the whole team were first-class, going above and beyond to create a compelling, high-quality recipe video that generated heaps of engagement. I would definitely work them again.”
Ben Cullen, OLIO